A few years back I was doing really well with diet and exercise. Following a low carb diet reduced my weight by 50 lbs, putting me in my recommended BMI, and I was doing cardio at home 5 days/week. I was feeling pretty good. So good in fact that I decided to have a tubal reversal and have two dear boys with my husband.
Along with that blessed gift of additional children, I received a helluva lot of weight back, not quite back where I was before low carbing but enough that I felt pretty bad. I had fallen completey off the 'healthy choices' wagon and run over by the 'YAY! CARBS!' wagon. Add into that my computer addiction and anxiety issues that began to skyrocket (and accompanying depression) and I no longer physically or even emotionally resembled that pre-preggo person anymore.
The last of those two children was born 5 years ago.
I had been thoroughly fed up with the cycle of poor eating, indulgence in alcohol, carbs, lack of exercise (I do walk ALOT, daily, in by back and forth errand runs and kid transporting because I don't drive) however I am at a plateau with my walking because I've done it all my life and it no longer gets the heart pumping .
I decided to go to the gym. I was on seroquel when I made the choice, and the Psych had wanted to up my seroquel but I just couldn't. It was already zombifying me (did help with my anxiety and depression related irritation however) and it was adding on even more excess weight, making me crave carbs like never before.
The seroquel was making it hard to even walk to the gym, with its heavy sedation, and at the doc's suggestion to UP the dosage, I decided - after checking with my family doctor about correct tapering) to go off it all together.
That was back in November. A friend of mine goes also. We joined together, but although we enjoy each other's company when we work out, we are each totally fine to go there alone and often do.
December was a bit of a slack month because the boys were so sick with 'the Flu' that was going around, I think they missed a total of 3 weeks between them both, so of course I couldn't go. I went a bit during Christmas break, but the eating and beveraging I did (mmm Winter Ales are soooo good) totally nulled and voided any working out I did.
However, each day is a new day.
And this past week I added on another half hour to my work out. Also added to this workout is a sincere effort I am self enforcing to get my eating back on track. I also just ordered some Gotu Kola, as I heard this can help alot with anxiety. I'll share that experience as I begin trying it.
So, this is the way it went today as an example.
Took the kids to school, came home and took dog out. Played about on the computer a bit, answered emails, checked into inworldz to respond to some tenant issues, and had a breakfast of about 1 cup of greek yogurt plain. 8 grams of carbs and 19 grams of protein. One packet of splenda added, and a small handful of frozen unsweetened raspberries.
(and coffee.. I always need coffee)
After two hours of puttering and getting my day started, it was off to the gym. About a 35 minute brisk walk.
I started as I always do, on the peice of equipment used for stretching, then over to the stairclimber. (gahhh I hate that thing) I'm a bit of a wuss with my cardio, keep in mind I am almost 50lbs over weight and so anything cardio related is a lot of effort :)
I do 15 minutes on the stairclimber, 1.5 min at 40spm, then 1.5 at 50spm, then 1.5 at 65. Then 80spm for 1.5. I then alternate 1.5 at 80 and 60 until there is about 3 minutes left. I continue at 50 for the last three minutes of the workout and then into the cooldown for another two minutes and the last 3 minutes at 40. Though I see women hop onto the stairclimber on either side, doing a neat 120 spm, I can't do that. My heartrate stays at between 153-165 the whole time.. so for me, this level is pretty ok.
Then, over to the weight resistance machines. The thigh adductor/abductor - 3 sets of 20 on each at 80lbs.(I work my adductors because I sit alot and my adductor muscles really need some development so that I can engage in lunges etc properly. If you think the adductor machines will trim your thighs-no. The adductors are actually a rather small little area of muscle. Lunges are much better for thigh toning and development, but the adductors are building my hips to be stronger, something Ive had an issue with since my last two kids)
Most of the arm ones I do about 35. (I have weak arms, but in this past month there are very noticeable muscle development on all areas of the arm - it's sooo cool :D)
I do about 30 varied crunches, as my abs are still my weak point. Five c-sections and uterus isn't that wee lil grapefuit it once was. I get odd charley horses in my abdomen area when I do ab work without assisted help from the equipment, so THAT part is a work in progress.
After the weight resistance stuff, it's off to the Elliptical. I change the incline from time to time, especially as i near the cool down part.
Generally though I'm at about 14 incline, with resistance of 6. If I find my heart rate getting too high I lower the resistance slightly and lower my strides per minute to about 135-138. Normally my strides per minute are at 140-155. I do this for fifteen minutes and then for five minutes drop the resistance down to 4. For me, this is a good strenuous cardio workout, as my heart rate stays at about 160 the whole time, dropping only down to 145 during the last five minutes (cool down)
Then, I go through the Circuit/Speed Zone. I don't pay attention the green/red light, however if someone is moving toward me while Im on it, Im mindfull of that and get my session finished. For anyone not familiar with this, the Speed Zone is a cicular area of various equiment that works all parts of the body, much of it not weighted but resistance based. When a speed zone class is going on, everyone moves clockwise to the next peice of equipment on the red light and begins again when it goes green. When Im at the zone, the class is over, so its more of a 'go at your own pace' (but PLEASE don't just sit there texting when you see people wanting to use that equipment you're sitting on!!!) and allows you to do more reps than you would be able to get in during a speed zone class. I like this part because it works out a fully different set of muscles than what is in the reg. weight resistance area. I skip the cardio equipment because by this point I have already done 40 minutes of cardio.
After about a half hour on that, it's time to stretch and go.
Total time is just short of two hours.
LOVING it!!! - even though some days it's so easy to want to slide back into my lazy ways.
I have not lost weight, but my eating has been HORRIBLE, up until the last few days. Also, as I mentioned above, there has been more muscle definition. My thighs, calves, and even my ability to draw in my loose stomach muscles when standing straight (seriously.. five c-sections.. yes I use it as an excuse but it can wreck havoc on one's belly) have improved. My hips are also narrower.
So now, that the muscles are getting stronger, my workout will be more effective over all. My cardio will be even more effective with muscles that can propel me and get the job done. Cardio and muscles really do both need to be worked on. Not necessarily on the same day, like I do, but cardio without weight training will result in 1)possible injuries on joints when muscles are not developed enough to support them, and 2) lack of tone. On the flip side, weight resistance without cardio will result in a more bulky appearance- firm to be sure, but we still want to melt off that fat, and of course cardio is freaking great for heart health :)
So.. that's my new start.
Fresh start on me.
I just need to stay strong and make healthy food choices. Lots of veggies, healthy proteins and healthy fats.
Here's to a healthier and smarter year.